Karin Schlanger

She studied Psychology in the Universidad of Buenos Aires – Argentina

She studied Psychology in the Universidad of Buenos Aires – Argentina and graduated in 1982. She arrived at the MRI in 1983 having heard of the work of Weakland, Fisch and Wazlawick and worked with them until the end of their days. In 1990, she opened the Centro Latino de Terapia Breve to do research on how this pure American model of Problem solving can be applied in other cultures. In 2012, she founded a NGO, Room to Talk, to offer psychological services to students, families and school staff at the school.

Marcelo Ceberio: As soon as she finished University, Karin went to Palo Alto to do her residency and soon became Paul Watzlawick’s assistant. She speaks five languages (Paul spoke seven, including Russian. In fact, he did his thesis on Dostoevskji at the Cà Foscari University of Venice). She lived in Palo Alto and John was her best man at her wedding. She is a very nice woman, generous with the students who came to Palo Alto, outgoing. She helped me a lot. From 1990 to 2010 I went to Palo Alto once a year. I was part of the Spanish student teaching team, together with her, Watzlawich and Weakland.

Mauro Mariotti: In 1979 I arrived at the Mental Research Institute, 555 University street, I stayed there for several months in subsequent years, frequenting the Bay Area for 40 years in a row, several months each year.I saw the developments, changes, transformations and the end of the Mental Research Institute two years ago. Building sold for a disproportionate sum to make room for some Silicon Valley venture. The only remaining active standard bearer of the Brief Therapy Center in Palo Alto is my adventure friend from the first year I went there, Karin Schlanger, a family friend of Carlos Sluzki. She had just arrived, become director of the center and still is the manager of the MRI-derived Brief Therapy Center. Dear friend, trips together to the sea – Half Moon Bay – passing through roads with a thousand curves that bothered almost all of us students but not her.
I find it nostalgic to talk now about those people who worked at the MRI. Today everything is seasoned with mythology and everyone makes use of the memories of the MRI depending on the punctuation of the sequence of events experienced. After all, it’s like this for all myths. MRI then, for us who came from Milan, was not only the cradle of strategic therapy and short therapies in 10 sessions, but also an epistemological crucible. Carlos Sluzki, who was its director for years, knows this better than anyone, later having to abandon it because the stringent Anglo-Saxon drift led towards the search for measurable results, in a short time, suitable for contingency: brief therapy precisely.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Teresa Pantaleo and Debra Milinski, systemic therapists from the Bay area who gave me the opportunity to share memories and learn about legends such as Virginia Satir and Lynn Hoffmann. (With Lynn, I remember the dinners with Carlos in Massachusetts, while I recollect Virginia’s incredible ability to empathize and read analogue languages). What to say….
Many of these professionals were not medical doctors or psychologists and yet they gave so much to me and to the whole world: they came from the world of hard sciences and from the world of soft sciences, literature, journalism, social sciences, film direction, anthropology. This miscellany between science and creativity still appears fundamental for the progress of the human race and of psychotherapy in particular. Difference that generates information, as Bateson reminds us. I hope we can always remember this and pass this on to the genetic heritage of the future generations.

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